Picture of Dr. Charles Jones, Surgeon- standing in a waiting room. He is smiling.
Familial calling guides general surgeon back to his roots at Ashe Memorial Hospital
Dr. Charles Jones wanted no part of medicine.
It wasn't that he didn't have an interest in the medical field. In fact, an eighth grade aptitude test all but confirmed that Dr. Jones was going to be a doctor or a national park ranger. But after watching the long hours and dedication his father and grandfather put into their surgical careers, Dr. Jones went off to college to forge a new path.
Dr. Jones wasn't ready for that kind of responsibility at the time, but life has a funny way of pulling us where we're meant to be even when we do our best to look the other way.
"I was 19 years old when I realized my calling in life," Dr. Jones said. "I've obviously always had it in me, but when you're pegged at an early age to do something, sometimes it takes a little maturity to figure it out. I ran from my destiny, but I was only able to run for so long and so far before my calling in life caught up to me."
Although it wasn't until after Dr. Jones took the MCAT and applied for medical school that he let on to the rest of his family that he would be joining the surgical lineage. While earning his medical degree from Wake Forest School of Medicine and completing his surgical residency at Carolinas Medical Center, Dr. Jones was continually reminded of the hard work and sacrifice that comes with being a successful surgeon. But by that point, Dr. Jones was more than ready to fulfill his destiny and continue to provide quality healthcare for his community.
A fourth-generation surgeon, Dr. Jones didn't live in the hospital, like his father and grandfather before him, but he grew up around it and knew that when the time came for him to finally become a surgeon, Ashe County was the only place he was going to do it.
Dr. Jones returned to Ashe County in 1997 and began his surgical career alongside his father. Over the years, Dr. Jones has seen Ashe County grow and change, but through it all, one thing has remained the same. Ashe Memorial Hospital continues to be one of the cornerstones of this community.
It's not uncommon for Dr. Jones and his staff to run into family members, friends, neighbors, community business leaders or fellow church members who have ended up in the hospital; and while it can be tough to watch those close to you struggling, the opportunity to care for the same community that raised him isn't something Dr. Jones takes lightly.
"I enjoy being able to take care of a small community and the people that you know, love and have grown up with," Dr. Jones said. "There's a sense of community spirit, a sense of pride and a sense of sacrifice to provide the best possible healthcare for Ashe County; and I think every physician in Ashe County would say that. The staff is wonderful, and they give up time away from their families, but they continually keep going. They are here for a mission. It's not just a job."